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We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.
Submitted By Sprawl on 13/05/19
SYN3H Chronicles, Sprawl, THOSE THAT ROAM, Mars Explorer 
This Document originally posted in the "SYN3H Chronicles" Group

This story will be continually updated! Press Ctrl + F (PC) or Cmd + F (Mac) and type @****@ for the newest addition.

You know that feeling of waking up when you've been asleep, and everything feels calming, soothing - even peaceful? When the world seems harmonious, and life seems easy?

That was not the feeling I experienced when I regained consciousness.

The first sensation was that of acidic vomit in my mouth. As my eyelids slid open, the glare of electric lights dazzled me and I squeezed them shut again in agony. A moan escaped my parched throat and I rolled over sluggishly.

As I began to come to my senses fully, the faint hum of an engine reached my ears. The slight shocks of a jet's spoilers adapting to the wind currents were all too familiar to me. We were in motion, and flying high. The memory of being  surrounded by Frederiksen's men returned to me, and I sat up suddenly.

Where are Pete and Picard? I thought. My heart was racing. I reached for my weapon, but I was stripped of any form of offence. Damn it, I cursed silently.

I was sitting in the back compartment of an F-27 Whirlwind, the top-end range of IASA's large jets. There was one door, but it appeared to be sealed. I stood and tried to tinker with the controls. No luck. I was about to do a run up and kick the door, when there was a quiet hiss and it slid open.

"Commander Nicholas!" exlaimed a blue-eyed man with wavy, dirty blond hair and a small goatee. He was equipped with light weaponry and had the IASA Insignia on his vest. He held out his hand, and I took it.

"So I guess you're on my side then?" I enquired. The man grinned.

"Never been more on anyone's side. You're the man....the UK Commander. We all respected you," he guided me out into the main part of the jet. "The name's Sven. My compadre and I were on a little adventure when we saw you were in a spot of bother. So we dived in and picked you guys up. There was a lot of smoke, and we were under some seriously heavy fire - but we got you all out, don't worry."

My spirits soared.

"Pete and Picard?" I cried.

"Yes," Sven confirmed, opening the door into the spacious cockpit, in which Picard and Pete were already seated. Picard raised his hand in a gentle wave.

"Nice to have you back, Commander," he smiled.

"Nice to be back."

Sven gestured towards the pilot, who set the jet to autopilot, and rose to greet me.

"This is Ace, our pilot." He had straight, meticulously combed jet black hair and dark green eyes. His smile was slight and not without hesitation.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Commander," he said quietly.

"The pleasure's all mine - we owe you our lives."


Sven indicated the seat opposite him, but I refused.

"We have to go back." Ace shook his head.

"We still have jets on our tail," he said. "There's no way. Why the hell do you want to go back there?"

"We weren't alone," I revealed. "Three more members of our company are stranded there without any chance of escape. We NEED to go back, Ace." Sven looked unconvinced.

"If we u-turn and end up in a firefight with those jets, we'll be in serious trouble."

"But we CAN'T LEAVE THEM there!" I bellowed. Ace's eyes bore into my mind. I held out my hands to Picard and Pete in despair.

"We can go back." It was Ace. He spoke quickly and abruptly. "But don't expect it to be an easy ride. Take up gunning positions." Pete and Picard rose from their seats.

I turned back to Ace and Sven.

"We're ready."


Kruncher burst through two sets of doors. The first mercenary he saw he grabbed by the throat and slammed to the ground. Behind him, Sitfig fired a volley of pistol shots. Under Sitfig's arm, Flynn began to groan groggily. Kruncher heard it.

"He's back with us!" he roared. "Drop him behind those crates." He gestured to some high-piled wooden crates. The crackle of zorenine rounds hurt Kruncher's ears. He knelt behind an empty barrel, reloading his shotgun.

If these pellets were lethal, he thought, these guys would be having one hell of a time. He leapt up, fast-firing the gun into a trio of men who were hurled back, crumpling against the wall. He vaulted it and searched the room for stragglers.

"All clear." Just as he spoke this, a man leapt from behind a cloth with a dagger raised. Flynn, still dazed, saw this and rose up like a zombie, still moaning ominously. The man paused in surprise. Kruncher whirled around, smashing his nose in with the butt of his shotgun. Blood spurted from the man's face, and Kruncher shoved him backwards. He toppled over a crate out of sight. Kruncher clapped his hands together.

"A job well done, boys," he smirked.

Now he turned his attention to Flynn.

"How are we doing?" he asked with a hint of urgency. Sitfig shrugged.

"He's in fine shape, but look at those eyes..." Flynn's eyes were shockingly bloodshot. The flash grenade had clearly done some damage. "It appears he can still see though. Let me try and get him back some strength." Sitfig was just beginning to take some meds from his back pocket, when *WHAM*.

The wall exploded, red hot bricks hissing through the air. One slammed into Kruncher's side, knocking him down. He rolled over, and pulled himself to cover, clasping his injured abdomen.

"Damn it!" he bellowed. Through the crumbling stones, heavily armed men swarmed like beetles

"There's too many!" Sitfig cried in despair, frantically trying to revive Flynn. Bullets now whizzed through the air, chipping the stonework. Kruncher kept low, skirting the edge to flank them. But they saw him coming a mile off.

Kruncher crept round a corner, believing he was at their rear. In reality, they had flanked him, and two monstrous guards tackled him down. Kruncher howled like a great wolf patriarch in the midst of a violent struggle. The two guards began beating him bloody with their rifles and fists alike. Soon he gave up his struggle, barely conscious. One of them fired a quick shot and Sitfig, lifting him off his feet. Flynn struggled to sit up, but the largest of them just hoisted him up by the waste, and carried him through the breach.

Another took Sitfig, and two more dragged Kruncher with them down the corridor. His sight was obscured by the hot, thick blood streaming down his face, but as he was towed into the corridor, he made out a clear figure, feet apart and arms crossed, sneering maliciously. His hair was more savage and his face more gaunt. His beard was long and scraggly now and his eyes were dark as night. But, despite the stresses of the world on him, this man was the same man as ever. Wilder Frederiksen awaited them.


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